Author Archives: Meryl

Willa Cather: The exemplary sentence

I reread A Lost Lady this week. Inhaled it really. The characters are so vivid, as is the portrait of the farm towns of the prairies at the turn of the century. The great rail roads were built, and the … Continue reading

Posted in Prose | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Monday poem

This is from an anthology I received as a Christmas gift, American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time. This is my favorite so far from it: Mercy Like two wrestlers etched around some ancient urn we’d lace our hands, then … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Diversity or Meritocracy?

Hard to believe that this ad is from 1965, but of course, the assumptions it makes are part of what the rebellion of the 1960’s was about. The world I grew up in, the world of the 50s and 60s, … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophical | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Mary Oliver 1935-2019

Thanks to Gina for sending me this: Marengo Out of the sump rise the marigolds. From the rim of the marsh, muslin with mosquitoes, rises the egret, in his cloud-cloth. Through the soft rain, like mist, and mica, the withered … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Rainy Day Poem

Rain in Northern California, where we always seem to be needing it, can be as delicious as this poem, which sounds contemporary though written a century ago. Summer Rain All night our room was outer-walled with rain. Drops fell and … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Winter Break

I took some time off over the holidays, but here I am, back with your Monday vitamin. I read a poem I liked in the NY Times Sunday Magazine, and found another by this poet: A Childhood The horse had been … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Feeling a bit Grinchy

But here is a holiday poem–may it bring you a glee too fine to hear. Holly The hollybush flowers small whites (become of course berries) four tiny petals turned back and four anthers stuck out: the pistil low & honey-high: … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Brief history lesson

I remember Frost’s fumbling at Kennedy’s inauguration–an old man then, and the first poet to be asked to read at such an event–such a different time. When asked to recite a poem, this was Frost’s response: “If you can bear at … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Something about writing

I have been reading Randall Jarrell’s “Fifty Years of American Poetry,” an impressive essay, but it made me somehow wonder if all the books–those hours and years of work–won’t someday be winnowed down to a few kept in the basement … Continue reading

Posted in Prose | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The exemplary sentence

One of the few fears that can really grab hold of me, especially before a long plane ride or (as was currently the case) a time of enforced inactivity, is that I’ve read all the really good books. A book … Continue reading

Posted in Prose | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment